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CES 2010: Microsoft's Arc Keyboard

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Sean Butterworth stopped by the Microsoft booth and gave me a look at the new Microsoft Arc Keyboard, the mate to the Arc Mouse. I'm a huge fan of the Arc Mouse (cnet review here) mainly because it's portable enough to keep in my bag or even in a front pocket. This new keyboard looks equally nice. It's small, thin, and portable enough that it will be a great addition to my slate tablets when on the go. The USB dongle is even smaller than the Arc Mouse dongle, so once you plug it in you probably won't need to unplug it as there is very little profile coming off the USB port.

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  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw

    looks pretty cool Smiley dunno if its "redefining the way [i] think of keyboards" though.. also, not having any arrow keys wont make it very useful with media center Smiley but still, might be handy on the go

  • Larry LarsenLarryLarsen "Lightbulb"

    Smiley There are arrow keys. It's the 4 way hat switch on the bottom right, which got me thinking that it might actually be better than 4 individual buttons if you're playing a web game.

  • Being able to walk around with the keyboard doesn't really help when the computer stays in the same room.
    I don't quite see what's so revolutionary about a wireless keyboard. They've been around for a long time.
    It looks smart, though.

  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw

    there is? i didnt notice that.. would be cool to see more of that Smiley yeah,  control pad (or d-pad rather) style arrow keys would be useful. it would be neat if they put a little joystick mouse or a multitouch pad on it too  Smiley

     

    even more cool would be if you could use it with what ever screen was closest, if you where in the living room it would "be active" on your tv, sit at your desk and it would be active on your desktop. now that would be awsome Smiley

  • Larry LarsenLarryLarsen "Lightbulb"

    I think the thing with the Arc (the whole line) is the portability. Sean might use in his living room, but this keyboard will be the staple for my backpack. I carry an Arc mouse (two actually) with me everywhere because I like it better than trackpads, so as I move from computer to computer I take the mouse with me. Now I'll probably do the same thing with this keyboard. I also keep my laptop up on a kensington stand, so using its keyboard is a painful stretch, this will help. And some of my machines (Sony UX and Tablets) just don't have usable keyboards, so I suspect I'd use it there too.  

     

    Al, you've got some niche scenarios. Wink  I think that would require multiple dongles per keyboard (the dongles are paired to the devices like an avatar to their mountain banshee for zero config/setup) but you could probably do that with Synergy. http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/

  • If you are using both the Arc Mouse and the Arc keyboard are you using two USB ports. One for the mouse transceiver and one for the keyboard. Or will they both work off of one common transceiver? 

  • Wouldn't it be great if someone were to invent some kind of unified wireless protocol so that not every little device needs to come with its own stupid little plug? What would be even greater is if that protocol had some kind of catchy name, maybe incorporating a color. Something like RedTooth. Doesn't that sound cool?

  • ChevalN2Cheval Why not null?

    Nifty idea. I think it needs a cover for the nano-transceiver. I can see that getting knocked off easily enough.

     

    An improvement idea. If you could pull a screen out of the top that would be handy. What's the smallest computer now; netbook? Something like that where you can do instant on basic stuff anywhere, but then connect to a more powerful machine elsewhere to do more grunty work. Netbooks don't let you upsale your CPU power, RAM, GPU, etc. Scenario would be like when I'm onsite and all I want is a browser, email and basic tools, then back to the office and home, you can plug into and access more resources. Kinda like thin client or termimal services, but without the need of permenant comms.

     

    Note: If it could have Mr Buxton's point at any screen idea; forget the pull out screen idea.

  • I would rather not have a USB dongle at all.  I hope there will be Bluetooth versions of the Arc keyboard and mouse.

  • We need a bluetooth version compatible with Windows Mobile Devices and Phones...

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